US equities have been in stellar form over the judging period – making this a difficult category to judge. However, the judges found special mention for the T Rowe Price US Blue Chip Equity fund, which was chosen for its ability to beat the S&P 500 without taking any notable style bias in terms of growth or value.
The fund saw off stiff competition from the likes of Baillie Gifford American and Morgan Stanley US Growth.
Another investment trust was picked in the Property category with the SLI Property Income Trust named top dog. Its manager, Jason Baggaley was rated by one judge as being the best property manager they had ever met.
In the Specialist Bond category, the BNY Mellon EM Corporate Debt fund was named winner, mainly for its ability to shield investors from significant losses in what has been a difficult time for the asset class.
Continuing the niche asset class theme, in the Specialist Sectors and Assets category, the judges gave the award to HG Capital Trust, a private equity closed-ended fund. It was chosen based on its long-serving team and its track record of finding valuable investment opportunities.
The Rathbone Ethical Bond fund was named winner of the Sterling Corporate Bond category which had delivered the goods despite having a smaller pool of investments to choose from, compared with peers.
In the Sterling Strategic Bond category, it was another repeat win for bond veteran Eric Holt and his Royal London Sterling Extra Yield fund – another manager who was praised for the ability to find the right investments at a difficult time for the asset class.
In UK equities, the main category saw SDL UK Buffettology, run by Keith Ashworth-Lord, named winner with the all-cap fund’s buy and hold strategy reaping rewards for investors in recent years.
In the UK Smaller Companies category, the BlackRock Throgmorton Trust was named winner, displacing the BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust which won in 2017.
The FTAdviser Investment 100 Club enables mutual funds and investment trusts to compete for membership, with trusts’ share price total returns considered. It also includes a selection of the best passive investment providers, making it a Retail Distribution Review-compliant tool for intermediaries.
The calculation process
The calculation process is based on funds’ total returns over one and five years relative to the total returns of broadly relevant benchmark index or sector.
The benchmark is chosen so a large group of funds can be reasonably compared with it. The data source is FE Analytics, and all performance figures quoted are bid-to-bid and rebased in sterling where necessary.